Janet Jackson - Birth and Early Career:
Janet Jackson was born May 16, 1966 into one of the most successful families in pop music history. She was only 3 years old when 5 of her brothers became pop superstars as the the Jackson 5 topping the pop singles chart with their first record "I Want You Back." Janet Jackson found her own way as an entertainer appearing as a child actress in the TV shows Good Times and Diff'rent Strokes. She also had limited success on the r&b charts with two solo albums Janet Jackson and Dream Street.
Janet Jackson's Breakout: Control:
After the disappointment of Janet Jackson's first 2 albums, Minneapolis producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, best known as associates of Prince, were recruited to put together a new album. The result was Control, released in 1986, an album that detailed a young woman taking control of her life. From the first single "What Have You Done For Me Lately," it was obvious Janet Jackson was on her way to being a pop superstar.
Janet Jackson's Top Pop Singles:
- That's the Way Love Goes - 1993 - #1 8 weeks - (Listen)
- All For You - 2001 - #1 7 weeks
- Miss You Much - 1989 - #1 4 weeks - (Listen)
- Doesn't Really Matter - 2000 - #1 3 weeks - (Listen)
- Escapade - 1990 - #1 3 weeks - (Listen)
- Together Again - 1998 - #1 2 weeks - (Listen)
- Again - 1993 - #1 2 weeks - (Listen)
- When I Think of You - 1986 - #1 2 weeks - (Listen)
- Love Will Never Do (Without You) - 1990 - #1 1 week - (Listen)
- Black Cat - 1990 - #1 1 week - (Listen)
Rhythm Nation 1814:
The pop music world waited 3 years to see if Janet Jackson could follow her huge success with Control. Rhythm Nation 1814 was released in the fall of 1989 and was an instant smash hit. It also succeeded in communicating Janet Jackson's message that we are a nation working to eliminate boundaries between people. Ultimately, the album became the first set in pop music history to produce 7 top 5 pop singles. 4 of those went to #1 including "Miss You Much," Janet Jackson's biggest hit yet.
With the release of Rhythm Nation 1814 Janet Jackson's contract with A&M Records came to an end. She signed with Virgin Records in 1992 and the $40 million contract was the largest in pop music history. The first album with Virgin was titled janet. It accompanied a change in her stage name dropping the Jackson and becoming simply Janet. The album projected a sexually aware image and included "That's the Way Love Goes," the biggest pop single of Janet Jackson's career.
Trivia Fact About Janet Jackson:
The key worn on Janet Jackson's ear on the cover of the Rhythm Nation 1814 album was a key to animal cages on the Jackson family's estate.
The Velvet Rope:
Between janet. and Janet Jackson's next album The Velvet Rope, she collaborated in the studio with her brother Michael on the 1995 single "Scream." She also released a greatest hits collection Design of a Decade in 1996. Janet Jackson renewed her contract with Virgin in 1996 for a reported $80 million. Despite her public success, Janet Jackson's personal life was difficult and this was reflected in her 1997 album The Velvet Rope. The album included another #1 hit single "Together Again."
All For You:
In the years between The Velvet Rope and Janet Jackson's next album All For You, her 8-year secret marriage with Rene Elizondo came to an end. Jackson was visible in a string of collaborations with other recording artists including Elton John, Blackstreet, Shaggy, and Busta Rhymes. When All For You finally appeared in 2001, 4 years after The Velvet Rope, its title single became Janet Jackson's 10th #1 pop single.
Controversy and Rebirth:
As part of the publicity leading up to Janet Jackson's next album Damita Jo, she appeared at halftime during the February 2004 Super Bowl football game. In a sexually charged performance with Justin Timberlake he tore off a portion of her costume exposing her breast. Timberlake later referred to the incident as a "wardrobe malfunction." Despite her initial apology for the performance, Janet Jackson found herself in the middle of a long-running controversy and the butt of endless jokes.
Just two months after the Super Bowl performance Damita Jo was released to poor reviews and lackluster sales compared with previous albums. It failed to include any major pop hit singles and was perceived in the music press as the first major failure in Janet Jackson's career since the release of Control in 1986.
With the assistance of long-term collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and her romantic partner Jermaine Dupri, Janet Jackson headed back to the studio for the album Twenty Years Old to be released in September, 2006. "Call On Me," the first single from the album, was released to radio in late June, 2006.